Warner Bros. will play six-minute vid in front of 'Mission: Impossible' screenings

Warner Bros. will release a six-minute prologue to “The Dark Knight Rises” on Dec. 16 at 42 Imax locations with 70 millimeter projection in the United States and Canada and in the U.K. five days later.

The prologue will screen in front of showings of Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.”

Warners said Thursday that additional international dates will be announced soon. It noted that director Christopher Nolan was the first to use Imax cameras in a major motion picture release in 2008′s “The Dark Knight,” which also saw release of a prologue months prior to the opening.

Nolan said in a statement that the experience on “The Dark Knight” shooting and projecting Imax 65mm/70mm film was “inspiring.”

“The immersive quality of the image goes beyond any other filmmaking tool available, and in revisiting Gotham, we were determined to shoot even more of the movie in this unique format,” Nolan added. “Giving the fans an early look at an Imax sequence is a great way to draw attention to what I believe will be an incredible way to experience our story when it comes out next summer.”

Warner Bros. has set July 20 as the release date for Nolan’s third Batpic. Cast includes Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Juno Temple and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Nolan, who penned the screenplay with his brother, Jonathan Nolan, will also produce with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven. The exec producers are Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan.

Christopher Nolan and David Goyer helped breathe new life into the Batman franchise in 2005 co-writing “Batman Begins,” which took $352 million worldwide. The 2008 follow-up, “The Dark Knight,” earned $1 billion.

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